Just after my appearance on a somewhat sobering Tucker Carlson Tonight, it's time for Part Thirty-Seven of our current Tale for Our Time: Burning Daylight, a rare combination of Arctic chill and romantic glow from Jack London.
Thank you for your kind comments about this caper: in the last forty-eight hours, listeners seem to appreciate this story as an evocation of a greater and more honorable America than the hollow superpower that has just imploded in full view of the world.
Nevertheless, the somewhat slow burning of Burning Daylight's romance has led some Steyn Clubbers to program alternative entertainment in the long gaps between Daylight's proposals and Dede's responses. Larry Durham, a South Carolina member of The Mark Steyn Club, writes:
While waiting on Dede to get with the program, I've gobbled up a quite a few other morsels in the catalogue - including the excellent TFOT revealing the great music of the series. I highly recommend this Tale for newbies. Thanks for a calm place in the ever maddening world.
Yes, indeed, Larry. It's always great fun to pick out the music for the series, and we're probably overdue for another special on the subject. But, if you've given that first show a listen, you'll know that this is the second Jack London tale we've paired with Carl Nielsen's music: it's almost like they're made for each other (that's Mr Nielsen at top right).
Gayle Yee, a Steyn Clubber and my fellow Ontarian, agrees about the theme tunes:
I adore Mark's choice of music for the books, and always filled with nuggets of how they were composed, who played them to flops or adoration, and always a perfect match to the mood/plot/characters of the book. SteynOnline is an oasis in this strange time we live.
Ah, it's always an oasis until the Taliban pick-up comes roaring through the gate, Gayle.
In tonight's episode, anxious to make another rejected proposal, Daylight goes looking for Dede in a rain storm:
The air was damp with the on-coming of rain, for the storm had not yet burst, though the rising wind proclaimed its imminence. As far as he could see, there was no sign of Dede on the smooth, grassy hills. To the right, dipping down into a hollow and rising again, was a large, full-grown eucalyptus grove. Here all was noise and movement, the lofty, slender trunked trees swaying back and forth in the wind and clashing their branches together. In the squalls, above all the minor noises of creaking and groaning, arose a deep thrumming note as of a mighty harp. Knowing Dede as he did, Daylight was confident that he would find her somewhere in this grove where the storm effects were so pronounced. And find her he did, across the hollow and on the exposed crest of the opposing slope where the gale smote its fiercest blows.
Members of The Mark Steyn Club can listen to me read Part Thirty-Seven of our tale simply by clicking here and logging-in. And, if you've missed the beginning of Burning Daylight, you can start fresh with Part One and have a good old binge-listen here.
~It was a very busy weekend at SteynOnline, beginning with the weekend edition of The Mark Steyn Show and my thoughts on the approaching endgame in Afghanistan. Saturday saw a new episode of Mark Steyn's Passing Parade, looking at two very different women and the men that got away. Later, for our weekend movie date, Rick McGinnis revived the screen version of Two for the Seesaw - a stage play with which I am more familiar than I ever wanted to be, for reasons I'll go into on another occasion. Sunday brought the fall of Kabul and an American humiliation of a scale few US commentators seem to grasp. By way of a palate cleanser, our Sunday musical selection offered a song of boundless, cocksure self-confidence.
If you were too busy sacking the American embassy this weekend, we hope you'll want to check out one or three of the foregoing as a new week begins.
~If you'd like to join Gayle and Larry in The Mark Steyn Club, we'd love to have you along for our fifth season. So please click here for more info - and don't forget, for fellow fans of classic fiction and/or poetry, our Steyn Club Gift Membership.
I'll see you back here tomorrow for Part Thirty-Eight of Burning Daylight.